Tonawanda News — More than 400 cyclists and walkers are set to take part in the fourth annual Break the Cycle Bike-A-Thon and Walk Saturday at Isle View Park.
The event, which is organized by the Erie County Commission on the Status of Women and other area agencies, raises awareness about domestic violence and encourages women and men to speak out against it.
“As a community, it is important that we take this step together, recognizing that incidents of domestic violence happen all too frequently, and that we join together to stop them from reoccurring,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said. “Taking part in the Bike-A -Thon and Walk is a good way for all of Erie County to show our unity and determination to prevent domestic violence in the future.”
Organizers of the event will unveil plans for a Tribute Garden at the park, which will honor victims and survivors of domestic violence. The garden will be partially funded with proceeds from the 2012 and 2013 Bike-A-Thons, and more than $8,000 has been raised for the first phase of construction and planting.
The University at Buffalo’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership has also sponsored the event, and has committed $2,500 to the project. The commission hopes to raise $160,000 from the Bike-A-Thons and donations.
The garden will serve as a quiet place for reflection and will draw attention to the issue of domestic violence, the statement said. Organizers hope to have the garden open in the summer of 2014.
The event runs Saturday from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. Riders and walkers can register on the day of the event, and the cost is $15 for adults, $8 for children under 12. Family registration for up to four people is $30.
In 2012, nearly 32,000 people across the state were victims of assault by intimate partners, and 74 of those people were killed the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence said.
More information about the Bike-A-Thon and Tribute Garden is available online at www.tributegardenwny.org.